Monday, October 13, 2014

Semana #33: Dora la exploradora

Hola Familia!!!
First of all, thanks for the brownies, music, and notes from home!!!...oh wait that was for Kylie :) haha. Just kidding. I do miss your food mom, but the bread here in ecuador is a close second!! No really, thanks for all you do, I promise I don´t go without.. I usually go with. :)

This week I learned that Dora in Spanish.. rhymes :) haha. So it has sense, and actually here she teaches kids english! 

A couple other interesting/cool/exciting/fun things from things week:
-The familia Molina, The husband has cancer, and other disabilites, he is the one that learned in sunday school about the word of wisdom before we were able to teach him and he learned we shouldn´t drink coffee an dropped drinking coffee that day! Same with his wife. They are amazing. Their only challenge is that they are not married, and the have no money to marry themselves. We found out because of their age and disabilities here their marriage is FRRRREEEEEEE!!!!!! Ah. It was such a blessing! The only bummer, is that he left yesterday to recieve chemotherapy, about 3 hours from here for a month and a half.... But they said when they return they will be married and baptized! :) 

-We had a Noche de Hogar with the damily Ajon, with our Bishop Gavillanes. It was really great we watched an old video that our bishop used in his mission to teach it is called, (in enlish) THe family is eternal, you all should search it on youtube its really great. 

This week is the last week of this transfer.... Its gone so fast! I really hope that I get to stay here in Valencia with Hermana Teo. We have so many great things that are in the works of happening.. only that we have to learn patience :) BUt I know that if it doesnt all happen while I´m here, it will continue to happen and grow with the other missionaries. This week we saw so many miracles inthe work of the Lord. We found more familias, and were able to progress with the less actives that we are working. We also had many challenges, but we know that the people always have free agency.. Sometimes I wish they didn´t have agency.. haha. But it is how we progress, and its how we show our love for the Lord through obedience.

It was my turn to teach Gospel PRinciples yesterday and we talked alot about obedience.. I was remembering everything my parents have taught me!! haha. I was also searching through some notes and things in my old Preach My Gospel in English, and found some notes from Dad from one night when he taugh mission prep. It was a blank paper and just said 3 things. Be Obedient, Recognize the Spirit, and Follow promptings. That changed my whole week!! It is so important that we have the Spirit. The Spirit is what changes us, without it we try so hard to convince our investigators that it is true, when really the message we have is perfect and true. Only they need to understand it! 

Thanks for your prayers emails love and fotos, love and miss you all alot, but I love ecuador too.. haha. our bishop says I´m half ecuadoriana so they may not ever let me come home :) 

Love yall,
Hermana McKee

Semana #32: Bananas!

Hola!!!!
WOW! So much to tell yall, and I dunno where to start. Well, First of all wasn´t Conference such the best?? It sure was. The family Ajon and the family Molina both were able to accompany us and watch a session. It was sweet that some had the option to speak in the first language. It was really cool because We watched (and listened haha) en Spanish, and when Elder Scott spoke, it was his voice, pre recorded, in SPanish.
A couple of cool/interestings from this week:
-This weekend we had a little compeition inviting people to church because it is the weekend of the fairs, festivals, and fiestas, here in valencia. For this, they closed the main road, and one night put up a big stage (like they do at New Years in Nashville) and have a concert, they are selling things allover, clothes and items from Quito, and from the mountains, and tons of food, there is also a few carnival rides that we went on the dragon last pday. Ill attach a pic.. It´s pretty cool, and so many people, but it fell on a bad weekend.
-Last week we were walking back from our Distrcit Meeting and we had a handful of Libro de Mormons and we passed by a member, who by seeing the books rememberd that she had a friend who was asking for one. We went right away to visit her, and it turns out that she has already been paying her tithing because her friend had mentioned the blessings that her business can have! Super Miracle.
We are working with about 15 families right now, and the Family Ajon and Molina are progressing so much!! THe family Ajon went to the first session, and everyone came except their son Luis, who is a member. When asking where he was they said he was sleeping! Haha. And the family came anyways. Super cool. The only thing that is missing is the marriage. There is so many people here not married. They don´t find it important because its expensive to get divorced. But, we are learning PATIENCE :) That is what our mission president reminds us.
Today, we went to a banana farm of a member from the ward and her family. Wow! It was the coolest thing. I want a banana farm. twice a week they have a process of bananas, so we were able to watch how they do it. There bananas go to Russia, another company here called Chiquita goes to USA.
Brayden, way to go! Sounds like the baptism was amazing and full of the Spirit. Way to be worthy to do that. And Happy Birthday Michelle! Sounds like a great birthday, mom says you´ve got some news for me? This question is for Scott: Are you alive? haha. When is Seren due? Take it easy Dad, don´t work too hard! :) Well, love you all and thanks so much for always writing. Good luck in Drivers Ed Kiara! And good luck to everyone else on the streets;)
This conference I learned the importance of the Sacrament. That everytime we eat a peice of the bread of the body of Christ we are remembering the covenant we made to do our part in the body of Christ, and in the Church of Christ. Thanks for all you examples, prayers, love and support.
Les Amo mucho!!!
Hermana McKee


Semana #31: Buenas Dias!

It is another beautiful day here in Valencia, Ecuador. It is full of Sunshine, and that is just the way we like it here :) 

Heres a few miracles/cultural/exciting things from this week:
-This week we were riding in a tricimoto (its what we take to teach in the pueblos around valencia that are farther away). We were talking with the driver about the church and he mencioned that he almost got baptized about 5 years ago! when we asked what happened, he said the night of his baptism there wasn´t power en Valencia, so there wasn´t light at the chapel. (This happens often randomly in ecuador). Well the next day he left to work for some time about an hour from here and lost contact with the missionaries. He said "I loved reading that Book of Nephi or what its called, but Ive lost it" When we gave him a new one, he said" Here is my book! This is my bok! I love reading this book." The Lord really puts people in our ways like Luis, and if we don´t open our mouths we miss oportunities!

-This week, at a lunch, as the hermana brought the food to the table I spelt Peanut butter (which I dont like a whole bunch in the first place, but I´ve missed it here in Ecuador!) I got kind of excited and asked what it was, if it was a salsa of peanut butter, she said "Its called GUATITA"..... I will let you all look that up for yourselves what I ate.. haha. It certainaly wasn´t my favorite, but it was cooked with love. :)

-The Familia Ajon is progressando really well!! The mom and 2 daughters came to watch the womens conference (which I LOVED!! ah.. the music was incredible, and it was so weird to see so many white faces! haha.) and they loved it!! Only about 5 membros came and they asked why nobody else came if it was such a big conference. They had a point and I didn´t have an answer! Its said when we don´t prioritize the oppotunidad to hear from a profet of God and recieve revelation.

This week was full of success and hard work, we found many miracles and had many opportunities to teach the gospel. We are working with alot of families, and menos activos. There is so much work to do! This week was a little stressful at times and everynight we arrived so tired!  My companion is the best, and we have a lot of fun together. Its fun to talk about Hawaii, and the connections we have there. 

Sounds like the Reunion was a success! Una Pachanga, no?! :) I´m excited to read the letters the wrote. I got lots of cute pictures of Carline, and Jared and Britts kids. Everyone is growing up! 

Mom, I didn´t get all of your email! Only "Dear Hermana McKee" haha.. but I could feel the love it was full of. I don´t think it sent correctly. But I´m excited to get 2 next week :) 

Love you all somuch! I´m excited for this COnference ARe you all going to attend? Or will you be watching at home? 

Feliz Cumpleaños michelle!!!

Con amor,
Hermana McKee

Semana #30: Una semana nueva!

Buenas Dias mi familia!!

I usually write so fast, and I´m losing my english that you all probably never understand the little part that I write about my week. I decdied that one day I will want to go back and read my emails, so I should slow down and have sense in what I´m writing, no? haha.

Fun/interesting/cutural things from this week!
-Bueno, Last Pday we went to the 7 waterfalls!!! It was so pretty, and felt so good to go on a nice long hike. We took pictures by each water fall, and had a really fun time! We went with the other missionaries and converts
-I gave my first talk in Sacrament Meeting  this Sunday in Spanish! Haha. Can you believe I went 6 months without speaking? Ive shared my testimony many times, but this was the first time I had to speak. I´m glad it was when I had 6 months and not 2 or 3 because I felt a little better with my Spanish! 
-We were walking down the street contacting one day, and suddenly there was this cow in the middle of the road! haha. The truth is there are always random animlas in the street so I wasn´t too surprised.. but still It was pretty great . 

Now I am alone with the Hermana TeÓ from Laie, Hawaii. We think we had Book of Mormon class together at BYUHawaii! She is really great, we have lots of fun, and she teaches me alot with her example and way of teaching our investigatores. Hermana Flores left yesterday with Presidente, and returns to her home tomorrow. 

In the mission, we are focusing on finding and teaching families. As a mission we have a goal to be teaching 15 families. Right now, Hermana TeÓ y me have 10 familias. They are all progressing in the speed, and President Riggins told us that we are to have 15 families, not to have better numbers and higher baptisms, but to learn Patience. Which is what we are doing :) 

We are teaching the Familia Ajon, and they are progressing really well! Their son, Luis already is member, and we are teaching his 2 sisters and parents. They are just waiting to get married, and they will baptzed! They love attending the church, and learning more about Christ. Also, we are teaching La familia Tipantuña, Hermana Luis is working on stop drinking but they both loved the mesage of the Restoration. They said is makes sense! I´d have to agree with them!! :)

There is so many great things happening in our area, and so many great people. There are so many who need the message of the Gospel, however don´t understand the difference it can make in their lives if they don´t APPLY it . That is what I am learning. In prepariing for General Conference, I have been reading the Liahaona from the past conference, I read the Talk by ELder Hales, If you love my keep my commandments. I learned alot about the Savior in this talk, about his example of obedience. If we love our Savior, we will be obedient, becuase we love him, not becuase we have too, or are obligated, or justify it. It is all because we love our Savior. 

Brayden and Jaren look taller than Dad in your photo! That sounds like a great choir. And I´m jelaous of the weekend yall spent with Elder Hinckely. Sounds amazing!! Good luck with everything you are doing! Staying really busy as always. Dont be afraid to rest a little, eh? :) I hope all the familiy is doing great, been a while since I´ve heard from everyone :) haha. But glad that you all are well. Who are you going to invite to Conference? 

Until Next week!
Les Amo,
Hermana McKee




Semana #29: hola!

Famila!! 

I don´t have a lot of time to write today because we are going to spend our Pday at the waterfalls!!! So I will send lots of pictures next week. 

This week we had stake conference, and we heard some great talks, especially our mission president and his wife. Eric, who was baptized 1 month ago, recieved Priesthood Melcehsidek. and is preparing for the mission! Its incredible. 

Also, last pday, we recieved a message that a new missionary would arrive in Valencia at 6pm, and we were super cconfused because we thought we didn´t have transfers! Well, turns out we are in a trio, because the next week Hermana Flores goes home. Now, We have Hermana Te´Ò!!! She is from Hawaii!!! We actually think we had Book of Mormon together.. haha she is from Laie, and went to BYU hawaii the same semester as me. She has 8 months in the mission, and is way fun. 

This week I learned and thought alot of the Atoement, and how Christ did things that maybe he didn´t want to, but he was never "off duty" He did it to be obedient. I thought about how the mission is preparing me to be a mom, and how my mom was never off duty. Its easy to say, I have already done so much, I deserve to rest, I want to sleep! haha. Sometimes  I feel like that as a missionary, but it is not an excuse not to talk to the people that I pass everyday. 

Thanks for the prayers, emails, and love! I will write more next week!
Congrats Brayden for being worthy to baptize your friend!! Good work.
Love,
Hermana McKee

Semana #28: Pears!



Buenas Dias!

It was super fun to hear from everyone this week. Still haven´t heard from Scott and Seren in about 6 months... they still living? :)   Just kidding. I know that you are all staying super busy, and those babies are getting super big!! Thanks for all the pictures. Glad that everything is going well. Mom and Dad sound like they are enjoying Nashville, super fun that you get to go back and visit. 

A few things from this week:

-Last PDay, I received my first Ecuadorian haircut! haha. My companion wanted Hermana Rosa from the ward to cut her hair, and so she offereed to trim mine as well. ( I was alittle nervous because there are a lot of people here that say the cut hair.. and they cut hair, its true, but it doesn´t always turn out great haha.) She cut and straightned out hair and her husband has a photo shoot business, so we took some photos too. 
- This week we had a Conference for all of the Hermanas in the mission at the Mission Home. It was increible! Brought back many memories. haha. And the best was we ate cinnamon rolls, and homemade choc. chip cookies.. I have missed those!! 
- My companions past companion is called Hermana Rust, and apparently she knows Kylie! I met her at the confernece, and she said you are the sister to Kylie? I had to think, because I hadn´t heard her name for a while haha. But Yes, I am :) 
-Elder Rounds, who is one of the AP´s, is from Preston, and is really good friends with Elder Farrell, and also Zack Petersen, my cousin, haha. How is Zack doing? How much time does he have left? I should write him.
- We have an investigator named Jony, and he lost his phone, so we havenñt been able to contact him, nor find him at his home, work, nada. On Saturday we went to the church to start our fast, in which we prayed that we could find Jony. We left the church, and In front of our eyes was Jony!!! Walking towards the church. He said that he had just finished work and decided to go home to sleep, but he wanted to pass by the church, and didn´t know why. We knew why :) How efficient are our prayers!! 

Well, today is the first day of a new transfer and still I am here with the Hermana Flores en Valencia. She has 2 weeks left in her mission! (I guess you could say I´m killing her from the mission haha) Valencia is so great, the members are amazing. As a stake we are focusing on rescuing all those who are Menos Activos, because for years and years missonaries have baptized and baptized, but they have all gone in active. And there are so many men without the preisthood. For this we havent had a lot of success in finding alot of investigators, but we are focusing on establishing the church here. 

The Conference we had with Pres. and Hermana Riggins was amazing. I learned so much about myself and progression in the mission and in life. Christ is our role model for everything we do. Althought we will not be perfect in this life, its always a process, and like dad always says, never plataue, right? 

I was able to see lots of sisters that I love at the confernce! including Hermana LAtorre, my trainer, and the sister from my group at the CCM. I will attach fotos. 

Thank you for all your prayers, Aubrey wrote me about Marshall, I am praying for his health too! I always loved to read his funny blog post with his optimism in spite of his health. And he is a true Jazz fan too :) Praying that he can heal. 

Thanks for the emails, photos, and prayers! Love you all. Have a great week!!
Hermana McKee

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Semana #27: Hola!

Buenas Dias familia!

How sad that your summer is ending.. but sounds like you all are enjoying it! This week here in Valencia we had alot of sunshine, and its always nice and warm :)

A few interestings/funnies from this week:
-There is a new Elder here in our zone who knows the Valentine family in Sandy, and was also in the MTC with the brother of sister valentine. 
-Yesterday we were teaching Erik (converso) of the 10 commandments, we were reading about the commandment number 4 and it lists all the people in the household that shouldn´t work. one of which says "extranjero" (which in spanish means foriengers) He paused and looked at me and said, Hey no worries hermana mckee, you don´t have to work here in Ecuador. haha. it was a good time, but maybe ya had to be there. haha

We were able to attend the temple with our ward this week and with our conversos recientes. We went with Erik, and the other missionares in our ward had 2 others but the sisters were sick, so we accompanied them too. It was incredible to watch Erik be baptized for his father, he is progressing SO much. He now comes to church in a white shirt and tie, and yesterday he blessed the sacrament, recieved a calling, and stayed to attend Missionary Preparation. This work is amazing. 

This week, during our day of contacting, it was super hard!! I´m pretty sure we found every Catholic here in Valencia who "is catholica and wants to die catholic" It was a really rough week. As a mission we have a goal to be teaching 15 families, and we are struggling with that. Its amazing how the Lord blesses us when we go the extra mile to knock on just one more door, or talk with one more person. We are planting seeds.

This week were exercising at the park, and we started talking with Johnny, he just moved here, and was able to come to church yesterday, and is preparing to baptism him 19 de Sept. Blessings! :)

I read an email from My friend Sister Goody who is serving in Oklahoma, was sad to hear about the wreck that happened there. We are praying for those families. 

This week is going to be a great one!! It is the last week of the change, I can´t believe how fast it goes. THanks for the fotos and the emails!! Love you all so much!! Thanks for the prayers also. Good luck to my sisters and my nephews in all your sports and activities.ANd reunion at Joylenns also, family is the most important of everythng. ENjoy every minute you can together! Tell everyone Hola de Hermana McKee y que necesitan invitar alguien a la iglesia este domingo. :) Good luck in your missionary work there!! 

Les Amo, 
Hermana McKee


Monday, August 25, 2014

Semana #26: Woohoo!!!

Hola famila!!! I really feel like I just wrote you, haha. This week went by so fast!! We weren´t in our area alot this week, but when we were... great things happened!!
First of all, I got your package!! Holy Cow!! (¡¡Santa Vaca!!) It was like Christmas morning. haha. Thanks so much, I wasn´t expecting so much!! I think i´m set for the next 12 months :) You all are the best. Mom and DAd thanks, I know that its not easy or cheap to send packages.
Ya, a few fun/funnies/interestings this week:
-Saturday is the party day here. EVERYONE plays music for everyone to hear. Its so hard to sleep Saturday night with all the noise, but when you are a tired missionary... itsnot too bad. haha. 
-This week we went to Guayaquil to go to the temple with the zones here in Quevedo. Thje bus ride is about 3 hours, and in the bus, there is usually a video. Well, una hermana brought the video of the Testaments and asked the driver if we could watch it. There was about 20 missionaries in the bus, and about 10 or 15 others. It was super cool to watch it, and see how many of them were interested! Some great referencias! 
-I play the piano every sunday in church.. People always tell me what a good job i do, I tell them, Thank my mother!! :) 

SO we left our area Wednesday in the afternoon and traveled to Guayquil. When we arrived we ate Pizza Hut because here in Quevedo there is no pizza! haha. So we took advantage of that. I turned around from eating and standing there was the hermana Latorre!! Mi mamita! My trainer!! There were traveling from the temple and so I was able to see her. That night we had planned to stay at the hotel that is at the temple, but we ended up staying at the apartment of the hermanas in the area. There  was 12 of us in a houws with 5 matresses 2 bathrooms, and we had to be ujp at 4.30 in the morning to go to the temple. ha! It reminded me of nashville... good times. Well, the temple was amazing!!! It was so refreshing to go to the temple. and Later we had a conference with PRes. and HErmana Riggins. They are the best!! I learn so much from them, and they always make it fun,  and have so much love. Just like Pres. and Sister McKee :)
Saturday, our investigator Jesus, who has 16 years and comes to church on his own every week wwith white shirt and tie, had his enterview Saturday, in the night, and the Elder came out and said is the font ready? We laughed jokingly saying, oh ya we called the firemen and they are on the way! He said, perfect! We are going to go find some white clothes and a towel for JEsus. We will be back soon! We thought he was kidding, but it was true!! haha. So Hermana Flores and I literally RAN to the firestation and asked them a favor if they could fill the font, and sure enought they came, and we had a baptism!! :)
Alot of our investigators right now are not progressing.. They just dont have desires! Its hard because we cant force and obligate them, only love and serve them. Well, I have been learning that my ALL is more then I think it is. I just have to open my mouth and invite, and fulfill my purpose. One day as we were walking down the street, we decided to open our mouths and we found David. We invited him to a Noche de hogar, and he went! And to church too! He is preparing for the 5 de Sept. Milagros.

Good luck in school this week!!! Love you lots!!
Hermana McKee


Monday, August 18, 2014

Semana #25: ¡Hola!

Hola familia!

I feel like I just wrote you all yesterday, this week went by really fast!  But there were lots of great things that happened!:

-Erik was baptized this week!!! Erik is 19 years old, and really has made a big change in his life. He has such a strong testimony, and his changes are slow, but the changes he makes are permanent. 
-This week I ate crab! Bueno, it wasn´t crab, it had a different name, but I dont remember, and I dont know what it is English, so lets just say I are crab. haha. I´ll attach a pic. It wasn´t too bad, difficult to eat, but was good. 
-Not sure if I already told you, but our days wednesday in the mission are finding days now. We don´t have fixed appointments, only are contacting! It helps my spanish alot :) Sometimes I find its hard to start up a conversation, but once I open my mouth, the Lord fills it. 

I can´t believe you all start school next week. That summer flew by! I can´t believe how fast the time goes. The mission really is the best, it is hard, but its worth it! I learned alot about opposition this week. If the mission wasn´t hard, I wouldnt be able to enjoy the joy and blessings of the mission. If no one ever offended you, you wouldn´t be able to learn forgiveness. Opposition is apart of life! To always be learning. That is something i remember steven wrote or told my at the beginning of my mission, that there are many things I will do wrong, or mess up, or wish I could do over in the mission, but I should only learn and move on. 

So, here in Valencia, we live and work in the city for the most part, but our area is really large, and so it covers lots of farm areas too. We walk everywhere! Luckily here there are more paved roads haha. We take the bus to farther places, or a tricimoto. Mom asked about my shoes.. haha ya its time for some new ones! But no worries, I will buy some here. 

We are teaching a couple named Carlos and Johanna, they are so great. We taught Carlos one night, and left him a chapter to read in the book of mormon, he called us the next day and said his dog ate his homework haha. His dog ate his book of mormon, haha. They are also preparing for baptism. 

Bueno, enjoy your last week of summer yall!! Gracias for all the cute pictures, I can´t believe Elder Horner is married, and that Elder Tondevold and Hermana Dodge came to visit.. They are the best. When do you all head to Nashville? 
Love you lots!!
Hermana McKee 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Semana #24: 6 months!

Buenas Dias familia! It was great to read all you emails. It sounds like you all had a great week, and a full weekend of weddings, family, and other fun stuff. Thanks for all the fun pictures! I will have to get those printed so I can show off my family! :)

A couple fun/interesting/cool things from this week:
-Not sure if I already wrote this, but our area is really big!! We live in the city, but our area covers lots of land, there are lots of farms here. Banana farms mostly, but lots of fruit! We are defintely in a higher altitude because it is alot different here then in Guayaquil. Very cloudy most days, and very fresca (I dont know if there is an english word for that? Maybe cooler?) And in the nights I sleep with my sheet, and sometimes no fan! 

-This week I was told I have a baby face :) haha. It made me think of that song mom has on her piano.. haha. I also got asked how many years I have lived in Ecuador? When I said 5 months, they were surprised because of my Spanish. haha. (I think they were just being nice). I still struggle with the language, but I do pretty good with church vocabulary :)

- Isaias was baptized this week!! But he slept in Sunday morning and so he wasn´t able to be confirmed... but this week he will! Also this week will be baptized Jesus (who has 16 years old) and also Eric (19)! 
-This week Hernan and his wife were married!! His wife is a member, and now Hernana can be baptized too!

Last week our Zone Leaders had a training meeting with Pres. Riggins and so we had a zone meeting to be able to learn what PResident Riggins taught. They started to share a story that Pres. Riggins shared, and all of the sudden I heard "Pocatello, Idaho". Haha. Turns out he shared the story of your friend, Dad, who was in the Hell´s Angels group and ended finding his brother in the mission. I was able to share at the end that he is now sealed in the temple. 

When are you heading to Nashville?? I´m super jealous!!! Tell everyone hi for me. I miss Nashville. Alot! There is an Elder Reyes here in the mission from Madison. HE was in the Spanish branch there, and knows Hermana Gold.. and more. Small World! 

This week I learned alot in my studies about having the courage to talk to everyone. In the mission now, we have every wednesdays only finding days. No planned appointments. Its easy to think that we are working when we track how many hours outside of the house we have, but we always need to be talking with people to find who are the prepared. I know this will help my SPanish too :) I actually really enjoy contacting, especially here in a new area, it helps to become more familiar with the people and the area. 

We found out that next week we get to go to the temple as a zone!! Im super excited for that. Pres. Riggins and his wife are so great, they do so much for us here and are always full of love. 

Thanks for all of your love and letters and pictures! No, I didn´t get any packages. I learned this morning that if you send packages to send them with the green sticker instead of the white sticker? Not sure what that means. Haha. But I guess green is quicker and cheaper. 

Mom and Dad hope you had a great anniversary! Sounds like Tanner had a great blessing too. Miss you all alot, but thanks for always writing and praying for me. Love you lots!
Les amo mucho!
Hermana McKee



Semana #23: ¡Feliz Cumpleaños Kylie!

Feliz Cumpleaños a mi hermana Kylie dawnathon este dia! 21? You are sooooo old. According to her email there is another baby boy coming? Nobody told me.. haha. I assume Scott and Seren? Or Michelle? News travels slower here in Ecuador, haha and its in Spanish. :) Just kidding. Felicidades! I was thinking that a year ago,  I was in Fiji!!! The time really does go super fast. 

Bueno, I am here in Valencia Ecuador!! And our area is SO big!! My new companion is Hermana Flores from Mexico. She goes home in about 4 weeks, so thats weird!
A few funnys/interesantes/ from this week:

-The streets here, most of them, are names by the date they were established. For example, we live on the street 2nd of August. And so the day of the street there is a fiesta! We missed out on the fiesta, because we had appointments, but we heard it! :)
-I am in the same Zone as Hermana Olsen! I was in the CCM with her, her brother is Matt Olsen (Joseph Smith from Nashville). Super fun to see her again. We did a service project this week with our zone. We cleaned up a park here, and this lady came up to us and started shouting how embaressing it is that us "foreigners" have to come and clean up there city haha. 

-My first area was like a little neighborhood that was on the outskirts of the big city of Guayaquil, now I am in a community, like old town pocatello or something like that haha. Except.. Equadorian style. The people here have more money, the houses are bigger, but still there are poor people. Its not a huge town, but our area is big. Sometimes we have to take buses 30, 40 mins just to visit a person. 

This week we had an activity at the church called "Travel to Hawaii" They transformed the church benches in the chapel to look like an airplane, and all of the people traveled to hawaii, when they arrived, they had options to enjoy themselves in different classrooms. Casinos, Disco, Church movies, Missionaries, Fortune tellers, etc. Depening on the things they chose they got a sticker. Then later, they got on the plane, the plane crashes and they die! They then go to the Kingdom (Celestial, Telestial, etc.) depending on their stickers. It was a really fun activity and we got a lot of referencias! 

We have so many investigatores preparing to be baptized, and everyday we are blessed with more and more people. This week preparing is Isiais, y Hernan. Hernan is going to get married in Wedesday to get baptized Saturday! I am missing all of our converts and investigators in my old area, but I know they are in good hands :) 

This morning I learned from my compañera about Testimony. Jose Smith was able to handle all that he went through because he had seen God and Jesus Christ and had a firm testimony in them. We don´t have to see God to carry on in our Faith, but our Testimony will help us in the trials we have in life. Because our testimony is the things that we can´t deny. I can not deny that Jesus Christ is my Savior. THat God is my Heavenly Father. That the Atonement is real. I know the Libro de Mormon is true. I know that families are forever, and that the family is central to everything. I am very thankful for parents that raised me that way they have to have the experience and knowledge. 

Hope you all are enjoying your summer!! How many days till school starts? haha. Thanks for all of your pictures, those babies are super cute!! I Love those pictures. Is there someone that could attach a photo of our family at the temple when were sealed? And maybe one of our family last Augst? Thanks so much for your emails and prayers!! 
Les Amo,
Hermana McKee




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Semana #22: Hola Familia!

Buenos Tardes mi familia!

This email is late today because we had changes this week! I had a feeling like I was staying in Duran, and that my companion would be going, but turns out she is staying!! Our Zone leader called last night, and so this morning I packed, said my goodbyes, and got on a bus to a land called VALENCIA. Three and a half hours later without a phone and only one other hermana, we made it!  My new companion is Hermana Flores de Mexico. She has more then one year in the mission. 

This email will be a little shorter, but heres a few great things that happen this week.
- To celebreate the day of the pioneers here the stake did a presentation and every ward had an assignment and song. We were able to bring our Converts to it, and it was so great! I will try to attach pictures.

- I had my first exchange this week with our sister leader in the zone, Hermana Lagos. She is really great, and taught me so much!! I learned and relearned lots of things that I had forgotten, and that will help me be a better missionary.

- Jazmin, she is our rescued menos activo, she has a calling!! In the Young Womens. She is already stressed about doing it well. I think that family, and the family of Xavier will always be my memories of Duran. 

It was really hard to leave that ward this morning. I feel llike they are my family, and not only that but my "mamita" or my trainer, and all of our investigators and other people we are working with. But I know that is the mission, and I am excited to be here in Valencia. From what I can tell already it is a really small town, lots of farms, farmers, etc. But it is beautiful!! 

It sounds like you all had a great time in New York, all who went. Good Job, Desi! What will you do now? No, I havent recieved a package.. did you send one? My address is still the same :

Mision Ecuador Guayquil Norte
Casilla de correo 16160
Guayaquil, Ecuador

I got your referral! Thats so cool that she is from Guayaquil. From the looks it seems like she lives in Guayquil. Malecon is in the city there, so Im not sure if its our mission or not, but i will check! All of those babies are so cute and already getting to big! I guess the bigger they get the sooner I will get to see them,. :) I don´t like thinking about time in the mission, but its really hard because every single person you talk to asks you how much time you have, in what sector, when do you go home, etc. I hit 5 months this week and I feel like my mission is just slipping away from me and theres nothing I can do about it! I have so much to do and learn. Thank you all for your prayers, and encouragement. I love you all so much! 

Les Amo,
Hermana McKee



Monday, July 28, 2014

Semana #21: Get "O"ver it

Hola Famila!
First of all, Dad, (and Kylie) no se preocupen, no worries, there are no more mice in my bed! Haha. Its really funny because every night we come home and turn on the lights, there is (not always, but many times) something in our house. Cockroaches, mice, etc. jaja now we just expect it.
Super cool that you saw the Nashville Stake. I think I´m more jealous of that then not being there with the new babies ;) Those guys are the best. Miss that Green Hills Ward!!! 

A few funnies/randoms/etc.
-Last week when i wrote about the shoes on the tele poles? Kylie wrote me, and also I learned from the locales here, that i guess it means they sell drugs there! ha! So there ya go.
-On Friday, we were eating with a member and her daughter, and the member went up to answer the phone, meanwhile i was cutting my piece of chicken, and it was so hard that it flipped off my plate on the ground!! So we were all laughing and I picked up my chicken, put it on my plate and figured I just wouldn´t eat it (meanwhile my companion is thinking, "Is my companion going to eat that??" ) Then the member came back, and I thought, no, I have to eat it one Im hungry, and two and I dont want to waste it. jaja and so embaressingly I asked, "Hermana, can I wash my chicken because it fell on the floor?" haha. And im glad! It was good chicken :)
This week we had interviews with President and SIster Riggins. It was kind of run for me because it was my first! And I was thinking back to the interviews in Nashville, and mom always said hers was the hardest to pass! ;) THe Riggins are the best. They already have so much love for us as missionaries. Something I learned from Presidente, is that sometimes we have days when we feel like, his words, "a hellish day" or a super bad day. Doesn´t mean that we have sinned or done anything bad, maybe sometimes we have, but not always. Only that we are being invited into Gethesemani, to experience a little what Jesucristo suffered.
We also had our ward conference yesterday (and Bertha, Andrea, and Estefano came to the church!!) They brought in a keyboard for the choir, and asked that I played. SUper fun. Andrea is getting ready to get married to a man  from Texas, and then they will leave to live in Texas. Bertha told us that she knows its all true but doesn´t want to be baptized yet. Not sure what her concern is.. but shes super great. She loves to read in the book of mormon and cracks jokes all the time about the "Lamanitas!"
I think Ive wrote you alot about a menos activo family, (Yazmin y Jimmy).. The first time we passed to visit them, they were playing cards and drinking, with all of their friends and neighbors and wanted nothing with the church. This week Yazmin had her interview, and they all went to the church by themselves this week!! And invited a family with them. THey are the best. Yazmin lives next door to her mom who is a member, but they have a rough relationship because they both get offended really easily. (Just get "O"ver it, right fam?) :)
The mission is the best. I am learning so much about my Savior, and myself. I love my SAvior with all my heart. I know that this is the true church. Our Savior was our only example, and so we know the way. Thank you for all your prayers, emails, letters (and letters you are going to send me) :) I have the best family in the world!! Safe Travels, and happy babies!
Con Amor,
Hermana McKee


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Semana #20: Bienvenida el sol!!

(We can tell she is getting better at Spanish because some of her sentences don't make sense in English!)

¡Hola mi familia maravillosa!
It is a hot, beautiful day here in Ecuador, and I have so much to tell you!!!!
A few things first...
-¡Feliz Cumpleaños a Brayden y Jaren!!!
- Yesterday I ate a sometime weird, but wasnt too bad! It was baked potatoe, with a fried egg, and peanut butter on top. 
-This week was SO HOT! A part of my glasses broke, (dont worry I can still use them and I have a second pair) but I think it melted! haha. My ears also got super burnt this week!

-This week my companion recieved a blessing of health from PRes. Riggins, and she decided to show her faith and humility by resting for 3 days. Since I am finished with my 12 semanas training, I was able to go on splits with members in the ward. That was the scariest thing of my life!! But it helped me alot. I was without my companion, teaching and finding people with my "other companion" and we found a family! So the blessings are coming!
-Perdon a head of time for the details in this story, but my companion and I decided it was a "must write home" story. haha. So, first of all, (yes dad I have sheets and a blanket) I only use a top sheet at night, because I sleep with a fan, and sometimes have cold. So in the mornings, the top sheet is just against the wall (No mom, I don´t really make my bed, because its just sheets.) Well, Saturday in the night, I sat on my bed to write in my Journal, and moved the sheet closer to the wall, and a MOUSE jumped out, and over my lap like Michael Jordan in slow motion, we made  eye contact and everything!!! And under the bed of my companion! Let it be known, that moms are always right, and we should make our beds.
Bueno, this week we were able to go to the temple with our latests Converts! Xavier, and Freddy! And The aunt of freddy came with us too! The temple is SO PRETTY!! We were able to go in with them and help as they did baptisms. The Brother that was working was from Ohio, and it was really weird to speak english with him! We also met the temple President and his wife, They are from Idaho Falls. It was a really neat experience, and is the vision of our new president. That a week after our investigators get baptized, they can do the work for their families in the temple.
I was remembering a story mom used to tell the missionaries in Nashville, that Hermana Riggins told us. About the place where missionaries werent allowed to teach, but they said, what do we do about the light? I saw that in action more this week, especially as I was with the sisters in the ward on splits, and we were teaching and finding, with my poor spanish. They would listen, and could thanks to the spirit. That my personal obedience to have the spirit affects those I teach. Just like the obedience of Jesus Christ affected so many people. Thats why dads 3 things of advice are... Be obedient, be obedient, be obedient.
I love you all so much! ... Even though I didn´t get pictures of the babies. Or the big kids. haha. Thanks for all your prayers. 
Hermana McKee



Monday, July 7, 2014

Semana #19: Buenas Dias!

Hola mi familia!
It is so fun to read all of your emails and especially I LOVE the photos. Muchas Gracias for them. Caroline is SO cute, and Tanner as well. He is so small!! Desi and Kiara look super old too haha. Thanks for always sending pictures. I love it.
A few funny/random/cool things this week..
-The word "puzzle" (like the thing we do at Christmas) in Spanish is "rompecabezas" Which translates in english to "breaks head" jaja. SO TRUE!
-This week I was showing our family picture to some members, and they all thought Brittany was Latina jaja because shes super tan.
-There are always tennis shoes on the telefone poles, all over!
ROSA was baptized this week!! Oh man, The whole times we have been teaching her, she would always joke with us and say If Xavier (her son, and other convert) doesn´t cut his hair, she wont get baptized. We always just laughed becuase she also said she would be baptized in a bikini.. jaja. Well, the night of her baptism came, she walked in and saw her sons hair, and said No. I wont be baptized this week because he didnt cut his hair, and sat down. She was so mad, just felt disrespected I guess, like she cant ever win with her son. She said, I will get baptized only because I said I would, but I dont want to. So then walked in the Bishop and said! Ok! lets take photos and get started. And Rosa and Xavier were not even talking to eachother. The contention was super thick! The bishop felt that, and took us all in his office, and to be honest, I dont remember what he said, but he fixed it all! haha. Xavier was able to baptize his mom, and the next day he blessed the Sacrament!!!! This family is the best.
This week we also found 2 familys!!! La famila Bravo, y la familia de la BArtida. They are all golden, we are super blessed in this area right now.
This week we also had a meeting with Presidente y Hermana Riggins! They are so great. The minute I met them I could just feel the love they have for us missionaries and the work. THey reminded me of Mom and Dad in Nashville. The fun thing is that they are from IDaho, so we have lots of connections. Did you have anyluck finding out if Elder Boyack is related to an Elder Ward Boyack who served in Ecuador??
Happy Fourth of July! No.. they don´t celebrate that here for all who asked. :) jaja. But I did celebrate by eating some fruit loops and oreos!! and I tried to remember the pledge of alligence, jaja. I guess Ecuador is just taking over my heart! :)) (The double chin is for the rice.)
I am healthy and happy here. Its amazing how many people the Lord truly prepares and puts in our ways. If we just open our mouths and try to do his will and not ours. Im so happy yall are going to be teaching 2 families in our home! And That Michelles friend was baptized. There are so many youth in our ward here who are SO strong and are the only members in their family. The gospel is for the familes. I love sharing our experience in the temple with our inviestgatores. I would love to have that photo of us if you can scan and email it, or mail it, whatever is easiest. That would mean alot!
Happy Birthday to Presidente Watson! :) Yes, Aubrey, I do remember Sister WAtson trying to fit the cake in the cooler with Dad. Thats so funny that was a year ago! The time goes so fast. Dad said he was missing me this week, jaja, because it was quiet over there. Sounds like you all need a fiesta!!! Im very thankful for my family. I do miss you alot, but I am very humbled and thankful to be here in Ecuador. I have had some really funy, and uplifting experiences that are hard to express over email each week, but someday when I return I hope to share them with you.
If there is only one thing I know, it is that Our Savior, JEsus Christ, loves us. His Atonement is the center to everything. This Atonement is the pure love of Christ. It means everything to me, and even more when it means everything to those persons we are teaching. Have a great week! I will attached some photos of my week! Les Amo mucho. I love you all very much!
Hermana McKee


Monday, June 30, 2014

Semana #18: I have a niece! I have a niece?...

Oh my goshnee!!! Today we had to go to the medico for my companion, first thing for our Pday. And All I was thinking, I want to know if they had their babies!!! haha. Then I saw those cute pictures and thought..  What the heck am I doing in Ecuador!?? Just kidding :) Congrats! Tanner and Caroline and super cute names, and they are SO CUTE! Tanner looks like a mini Steven :) Im expecting weekly pictures now, ok? :) haha.

Bueno, a couple fun/funny/random things..
-I was thinking, while eating rice this week, that I am glad that there are none, or very few, surprises in what I will be eating. Before my mission I thought, Ecuador? What will I be eating?! Well, its Rice.. every day :) A member told me this week, that if there is not rice in a meal, He is not full!
-Yesterday I finished my 12 week training program here in the mission. I can{t believe where the time went. 
-My companion and I were walking from the Medico to the Mission office just a few hours ago, and in such a hurry we almost stepped on this huge Iguana in the middle of the road!

This wee President and Hermana Amaya, from Columbia, finished their mission, and went home. We had one last meeting with them to say goobye and take pictures. Our zone sang the EFY medley for them. Now we have Presidente y Hermana Gibbons from Rexburg! I actually just met Presidente while at the office! So excited to have them as our presidentes. He said his wife, is a McKee, Bonnie McKee who was born in Las Vegas, and they are from San Diego? Small world. 

My companion doesn{t have to rest for her hip anymore so we are excited to be our working all day every day now!! The mom of Xavier will be baptized this coming Friday.. When asking if she was excited, she said yes, and asked if she could be baptized in a bikini? haha. She jokes with us alot, but she is a really sweet woman, and has such a great family. Xavier is preparing to go on a mission, and he got a calling this week to be a ward missionary!! 

I really love Santay, the members and people here I have such a good relationship now. Although at times it is still hard to communicate, The spirit helps me, and I am able to teach, help, and get to know the people here. I was joking with my compatnion last night saying, I want a mission like Hermana Savannah Birch, only 2 areas. :) haha. 

I was reading a talk from Elder Ballard, with a quote I loved, he said, " Weaknesses become strengths, challenges become opportunites, trials become triumphs, and adversity becomes adventure in the service of the Lord." Its so true. And I love every minute of it. 

Cant wait to see more pics of those cute babies, and the rest of my family. Miss you all lots, but know I am doing fine!! 

Con amor,
Hermana McKee


Friday, June 27, 2014

Semana #17: Ha sido BAMBOOZLED!

¡Hola Famila! :)

I was just looking at some pictures of the family that someone sent me, and one popped up of the 4 of yall who are pregnant, and my companion looked over and said, wow! all of your family is pregnant!! haha. You all look so cute! 

A few fun/funny/cool things here...
- We had some Family Home evenings this week with our investigatores, and so we put together a little game called... BAMBOOZLED! :) Its like Jepordy.. with some added rules. Its really fun, especially for our LEss Actives who at times it can be hard to get them to focus in a lesson, but they love the competition so this way they can learn and compete :) 
-This is the last week of my 12 week trainings here!  I can´t believe how fast the time flies.
-The weather is SO HOT during the days. The mornings and the evenings are perfect, its like a summer day in IDaho. 
-I don´t like seafood. Yesterday, a member made us Shrimp Soup. I ate it, it wasn´t too bad, but it was my first tme having shrimp. There was white squares in the soup and I just assumed it was cheese, because people do that here jaja. Then after I finished, my companion asked what the white stuff was because she didn´t believe it was cheese. It was SQUID! So,  there ya go :)

This week was a slower week because my companion is still in a lot of pain in her hip, so we only went to the appointements with persons who are preparing to be baptized, or fixed appoitments. So,  remember Xavier? Ok, he is like the best convert ever! He has such a strong testimoni! His mom will be baptized this sAturday, and we asked him if he was excited, He  said more or less. When we asked why he said, I just wish she had a stronger testimony to not be scared to be baptized.  As missionaries, my companion and I have seen that sometimes people have fear at first, but by living the gospel they grow a testimony. And that is what Xavier is learning. 

Christina and her family.. haha ok. This is a different story for a another time, but basically they don´t want to change or progress in the gospel. Really, she is so mean to her son and her husband, and so we are only going back to teach the son, because he still has some light in him. We pray everyday that he will want to change and progress, because we think he can help his family. 

Ok, is Elder Boyack, who served in TEN, who plays the cello super great, related to a Ward Boyack? Who lives/ed in New MExico, and served his mission here in Guayaquil in 1990?? We were eating lunch with Hermana Lesvia, and she pulled out a picture of this Ward Boyack and asked, Have you gringas seen this face walking around your land? haha. AT first, it didn´t look familiar, then I saw the name, and it kind of looked like Elder Boyack! She said it was the missionary who baptized her, and they have lost contact. So, if you know or hear anything.. let me know! :)

I hope Grandpa is doing better, I know he doesn´t have an email. I should write him a letter.. tell him I love him and am praying for him to have a quick recovery! You all sound very busy this week. Especially dad! haha. Happy Birthday Dad! Your party looked way fun, we do have a p`retty great family! And Mom, the baby shower looked super fun too! Good Work! :) Can´t wait to get those pictures :) Thats a bummer that packaged showed up at the house.. sorry you spent so much money to have it return there. I really don´t need the bedding anymore. The only thing I could use from it is that picture of our family at the temple. I would love to have that! 

Something I learned this week is that Heavenly Father will not let us be content with our weaknesses. He will push us and pull us to make us grow. And in the meantime, we should compare ourselves, because when we do, we are comparing our weakness to anothers strength, (or vice versa, because everyone has both). And this is super unfair! Everyone has their gifts and talents for a reason, and the responsibility to increase them. MY companion is such a great example of that. She is the best!! We have so much fun together. I know that We have a Heavenly Father who loves us more then we can imagine. And that we made a convenient to obey him before this life. Thank you for your prayers and  support!! 
Con Amor,
Hermana McKee


Semana #16: Transfers!

Happy Fathers Day (yesterday) to you Dad! And all of my brothers that are gonna be dads! And Happy Birthday to Dad also :) 

It is another beautiful day here in Ecuador. Some fun/funny/intereseting/ things:
-The nights, evenings, here are perfect. Theres a little wind, clear sky to see the stars. which is weird because usually its cloudy during the days. And theres always bats! Not sure if I told you that already, but I always see them and think, Kiara would love these! jaja. Also, there are a ton of dragonflys here!! .. and cuckarachas.
-With the world cup happening right now, everyone is crazy! jaja. You can hear the games and see televisions in every house, store, whatever place!
-Last week I was reading my email from Sister Goody, and she said she had lice! I felt bad, but laughed a little when I though, thats funny, I´m in Ecuador and nothing has happened to me! ... This week. I have lice. 

This week is transfers! And My companera and I are both staying. Which I am happy for because I love this ward and this area. We have the best members. 

This week was a little rough because my companion has been sick. She has inflamacion in su hip, and it hurts when she walks. And we walk... 24/7. haha. So we had to spend some time in the house this week, and also make some trips into Guayaquil to see medico. Its hard to no be working in our area, but still we are being blessed with miracles. The other day,  we were walking, and past us walked this group of teenagers. One shouted, Hey! Huccum you never came back to visitme? We learned that the missionaries before us taugh him, and he was ready to be baptized, then never returned! 

Christina, Cesar, and their son, Cesar.. are progressing :). They have so much hate and bad thoughts about eachother. Always telling us what the others do wrong. But they want to change! Last night we had planed to teach a lesson, and spent our time doing "counseling" jaja. We made each person say 3 things they were thankful for for the others, and sang a hymn, it was amazing the spirit of their home changed. And they recognized it too. 

Wison and Bertha, who are neighbors to Xavier, are the best. They are slowly building their testimonies, and learning the blessings of the gospel. 

This week I have been reading the talk by Brad Wilcox, His Grace Is Sufficient. It teaches alot about what the Atonement means. Not that we dont have to do anything because Christ saved us, its how much we use and accept His sacrifice in our lives. So much we can have from the Atonement, comfort, peace, strength, and forgiveness. This atonement means everything to me. 

Thanks so much for your emails and all your prayers. I feel your love and support every day. Hope yall are enjoying your summer, and have fun in New York! I hope you get the chance to see the sacred grove and visit some cool church sites. Travel Safe. Love you all, and can´t wait for those babies to come!!! :)

Con Amor, 
Hermana McKee